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Former POW Lynch Asks Public to Redirect Gift Outpouring

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2003 – Pfc. Jessica Lynch, former Iraqi prisoner of war now receiving treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here, has asked the public to send cards and letters in lieu of gifts and flowers.

In a statement released by the medical center, Lynch said the outpouring of gifts from well-wishers around the world has deeply touched her.

"While she appreciates the gifts, and they have done so much to lift her spirits and those of her family and countless hospitalized soldiers," according to the statement, "the volume is beginning to put a strain on the hospital's postal, medical and support staffs." Gifts have included candy, fruit baskets, T-shirts and stuffed animals.

The release said the family suggests the public donate money to charities such as Army Emergency Relief, Air Force Aid Society, Navy & Marine Corps Aid Society, American Red Cross, the United Services Organization and the Fisher House Foundation. "All of these organizations have a long record of helping service members in times of need," the statement read.

Cards or letters for Lynch should go to Pfc. Jessica Lynch, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C., 20307-5001.

The family also asks the public to send personal mail for other Lynch family members to them in care of the post office at Palestine, W. Va., 26160. No post office box number or other address is necessary.

(Based on a press release from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.)

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